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Avid reader

I always read the Independent each week to see what way-out position or remarks emanate from the prose of the dedicated lefties. I'm even trying to learn to eat and write with my right hand so as not to be associated with people who idolize the left.

The Feb. 9 issue had letter writer Deb James boasting about her sons being in the military ("Blame the boss"), which is great. Then she makes a dumb statement, "My sons don't believe in the war, either ... but they have no choice." They had free agency to join or to not join the military. We still have an all-volunteer military, even the Reserves.

I served in the Navy. However, my sons chose not to join the military. Can you imagine how many terrorist attacks we would have had if John Kerry had been elected? He would have been cozy with every pacifist country in the world. It is likely the attacks would have kept coming as they did after the USS Cole and the first World Trade Center bombings.

Next, I nearly gagged at John Hazlehurst's assertion that one government agency should be commissioned to pay all medical bills across all 50 states ("Creative destruction," Outsider). I thought Hillary Clinton's scheme of national health care was a laugher. However, this is a demented thought that could only come from those who have lived in a hemp house too long. We can't even pay welfare payments correctly in one state, like ours. Can you imagine the chaos of a 50-state political foosball?

Many of us are grateful to live in Districts 20, 2, 49 or 38, or any district but 11. Cara DeGette's Public Eye piece ("With words like these") clearly painted the picture of turmoil, deceit, back-stabbing, etc., which makes for interesting reading, but does little for the well-being of teachers, staff and students. I wonder why Sharon Thomas ever took the superintendent's job in that type of environment, making it nearly impossible for her to be successful.

I skimmed through the national forest article ("Roadless rage," cover story), knowing it was all from the side of tree-huggers while bashing the president and praising former President Clinton for his "no roads" legacy rulings. Of course, Dan Wilcock didn't mention the forest fires that came from no timber thinning for decades.

Being a hunter and outdoor hiker, finding a delicate balance will be an ongoing struggle, unless both sides decide to be open-minded.

Well, I can dream, can't I?

Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

No "x' in "espresso'

Speaking of mispronouncing things, as letter writer Jim Inman pointed out in his Feb. 9 letter to the editor ("Leading the way"), I'd love to state my pet peeves:

there is no "x" in "espresso";

"library" has two "r"s, not one;

and, Bush's favorite "nuc-u-lar." It's "nu-clear," clear as day!

Melissa Leftwich

Colorado Springs

One thing won't change

There's a lot of buzz this week surrounding the Phase One approval of Banning Lewis Ranch, a 24,000-acre development on our eastern outskirts. This behemoth could eventually be home to 200,000 new residents. While members of the growth industry pour champagne and count their money, I thought I'd offer a reality check of what Banning Lewis will mean for the rest of us:

Utility bills will kick into a steep incline, while police and fire response will further deteriorate. Commutes will become unbearable as traffic congestion quadruples, and then quadruples again. The RTA tax will double to 2 percent, and eventually hit 3 percent. Our air will be filthier, water quality lower.

Agriculture in the lower Arkansas Valley will die. Water rationing will become permanent. City Council members will still be saying, "Drought reserve? What's a drought reserve?" Breckenridge will be a four-hour drive, as Ute Pass comes to resemble Interstate 70 west of Denver. Home values in northern El Paso County will plummet as water wells run dry.

Economic development officials will tell us we have to bribe companies to come employ the newcomers (who they'll claim are just all our children). But our unemployment rate and per-capita income will continue to simply mirror the national average.

Our city budget will be stretched even more thinly (diseconomies of scale). We'll have more Home Depots, Wal-Marts and Taco Bells to choose from (whoopee!), but you'll need a reservation to climb Pikes Peak. Downtown will be louder and look more like any other city in America.

And we'll probably still have a City Council with no clue how these things happened and what to do about them. Don't you just love the smell of asphalt in the morning?

Dave Gardner Save the Springs,

Colorado Springs

Completely legal

As pointed out in last week's Public Eye column (""Martin wasn't on food stamps'"), members of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform held a protest on Feb. 11 at Sand Creek branch of the Pikes Peak Library District against the Mexican Mobile Consulate. The Latino Student Union and the Student Diversity Council at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are writing to express our indignation at the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform's protest against Mexican nationals getting their "matricula consular" identification cards.

As is common knowledge, these identification cards do not, in any way, encourage illegal immigration to the United States; they are simply used as a form of identification so that millions of Mexican nationals can open bank accounts and not rely on illegal institutions that charge ridiculously high fees.

Furthermore, the issuance of these cards is completely legal under the treaties between Mexico and the United States. Therefore, we applaud the Pikes Peak Library District for not succumbing to the pressures of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform and others who say that the Mexican Consulate has no right to issue the identification cards on "tax-funded" property.

The Mexican Consulate and the Mexican nationals have done nothing wrong, and the Latino Student Union and the Student Diversity Council at UCCS proudly stand behind them and support them in their attempts to overcome the challenges of our ethnocentric community.

The Latino Student Union

and the Student Diversity Council,

University of Colorado

at Colorado Springs

Mighty tasty

May I inquire how much you charge to run a fast-food advertisement on the front cover of your publication? Apparently it was for a story about a corporate mascot who gets lots of press for appearing not to be an advertisement. Sort of Tony the Tiger for the Napoleon Dynamite set, but fascinating to you, I guess.

The Jan. 26 cover story ("Subweigh") was pure PR. Sen. Barack Obama apparently "loves Subway's new toasted subs." (And now with my letter, I'm perpetuating it. Enough!)

You didn't mention that the rising Subway sales attributable to their affable spokesman were not for the leaner sandwiches on the menu. Most customers keep ordering the unhealthy items. You'd probably like to laud McDonald's for promoting salads, even though they're really just selling more french fries.

The point of your article escaped me. Is Subway (owned by the scurrilously named Doctor's Associates Inc.) offering a million-dollar contract to every obese person who can keep his weight down by eating from the paltry lower-fat portion of their otherwise fat-food selection? That would be quite a story, and maybe it would prove effective for more than Mr. Fogle!

As to your pieces of silver, I'm hoping on the one hand that product placement on your cover doesn't cost too much. There are certainly some authentic health-food stores and restaurants that could really benefit from attention like that. And as a result, so would the public.

On the other hand, I hope you made thousands for having compromised your principles. Now when you behold a fatter, sadder America, you'll know you played a part.

Eric Verlo

Colorado Springs

Well worth it

In his letter of Feb. 2 ("Another casualty"), Mike Clow bemoans the demise of "old-fashioned news radio." While I certainly agree with him that commercial radio is almost unlistenable, apparently he is unaware of the alternatives available through National Public Radio.

Many wonderful news programs can be heard daily on our local NPR station, KRCC, at 91.5 FM and 90.1 in Manitou Springs. "Morning Edition" starts at 5 a.m. weekdays until 9 a.m.; thereafter, it is headlines on the hour, and continuous news again starting at 4 p.m. with "The World," "All things Considered," and, several times a week, "Western Skies," KRCC's new regional news show. I, for one, could not survive in this community without the quality news programming available through NPR.

One disappointment, though, is that KRCC's management refuses to carry "Democracy Now," a very popular independent media source that offers a truly unique perspective in "advocacy journalism." Right now, we are forced to go to to tune in, but it is well worth the inconvenience.

NPR also carries many other great shows on the weekends, including news both Saturday and Sunday mornings, along with the "Thomas Jefferson Hour" and "This American Life." Check it out and you will hear radio at its very best.

Cyndy Kulp

Colorado Springs

In poor taste

I have just recently noticed while watching TV that the amount of religious channels seems to have increased. These TV evangelists are extremely hard for me to watch. One preacher has the gumption to tell his listeners that if you send money to him, he will have you blessed by God; another preacher told his congregation that diversity is ungodly and should not be tolerated.

I think that these channels are in poor taste and feel that they are dangerous for my children to view. They do not support my moral views or family values, and undermine the concept of embracing acceptance or respect of others who are different from the majority.

For the first time in my life, I have had to use the parental controls offered to me by Adelphia to block offensive TV channels.

Selina Scarpati

Colorado Springs

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